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  •  A rescue worker reacts during a demonstration in honor of victims of the collapse of a dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA, in Brumadinho, Brazil Feb. 25, 2019.

    A rescue worker reacts during a demonstration in honor of victims of the collapse of a dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA, in Brumadinho, Brazil Feb. 25, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 March 2019 (1 hours 17 minutes ago)

Brazilian authorities warn of the risk of a new dam bursting in the south-east of the country.The warning comes two months after a dam collapse that provoked 211 dead and 95 missing in late January. 

Another dam operated by the world's largest iron ore miner, Brazil's Vale, is in imminent danger of collapse and has been assessed at the highest level of threat.

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The population immediately surrounding the dam, located in Vale's Gongo Soco mining complex in Barao de Cocais, 100 km from Belo Horizonte, the state capital, had already been evacuated on Feb 8 as a precautionary measure.

The Civil Defense of Minas Gerais raised the alert level Friday night from two to three, equivalent to an "imminent break." 

On Jan. 25, the Brumadinho dam, also in Minas Gerais, caused a flood of 13 million cubic meters of mine waste that destroyed everything in its wake. A majority of the victims worked in the Corrego do Feijao mine belonging to the Vale Group.

William Garcia, a prosecutor in Minas Gerais where the January disaster occurred, told G1 newspaper his office had filed subpoenas with Vale last June to review safety documents regarding Vale's dam.

Vale's lawyers responded they had received positive reviews of the dam by the German auditor firm Tuv Sud they had hired.

According to Wiliam Garcia, Tuv Sud “was used to make it more difficult for prosecutors to investigate and hide from public view the state of that dam, which was so critical that less than two months later it broke,” he said at an anti-corruption event in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais.

The collapse of Vale SA's dam caused dramatic consequences for humans and the environment without any concrete legal action executed against the group so far. 


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